Is this too much
» Before I decided I really could be
a full-time writer, I had the following jobs (in no particular order): Life
Coach, Web Designer, Systems Analyst, Computer Programmer, Executive Secretary,
Plant-Watering Person for a corporate landscape company, Pharmacy Assistant,
Cosmetics Salesgirl at Macy's... and for one very long summer in high school, I
worked in a kids' shoe store (worst job EVER).
» My first short
story was entitled "Rich Munk, Poor Munk" about two chipmunks. I think I
was around 10 years old, maybe 12, when I wrote it. I even illustrated it. (I
am not a very good artist.) I had actually forgotten all about it until I
realized my mother had saved it. It was, and still is, terrible; cute, but
» I've never been able to consistently keep a journal or
diary for more than a couple of months at a time, ever. I saved one journal I
wrote in sporadically throughout high school, and it's just embarrassing, as
all journals written by hormone-crazed teenage girls seem to be.
the closest I've ever come to "journalling" (since 2005 and still going strong
in my 10th year!), but for some reason I love it and it feels effortless to
» When I used to work in the corporate world as a web
designer, my then-boss once told me "If I could write the way you write,
and I knew what you know about the Internet, I'd quit this @#%&$-ing
place and write a book". I laughed and accused him of trying to get me to quit
so he wouldn't have to pay me unemployment. But he was the first person who
ever seriously suggested I was good enough to write books. And the idea kind of
stuck with me after that.
» I played the xylophone in the high
school marching band. Yep, I was a total band geek. And I loved every minute of
it... totally worth the bad back and knees I have today. I also sang in the
chorus and played the piano in the school jazz band, and performed in a few
high school/community theatre musicals. I secretly wanted to be one of those
kids in "Fame"!
» I once sang "Piano Man" at an open-mike
night at a local restaurant where all the waiters were also the entertainment
staff; they'd take turns singing show tunes and ballads in between waiting on
customers. I got job offer on the spot, which I thought was really cool, but
turned it down because I had a day job and didn't want to wait tables at night.
Still, it was nice to be asked. If I could magically have the talent to be
anything other than a writer, I'd want to be a professional
»Despite my loving to perform in front of an audience, I
had a real phobia about public speaking for many years. I blame my 7th grade
English teacher, Mr. S, for giving me the lowest grade on our first oral
report, when I got picked to go first out of the whole class. It made me
terrifed to speak in public for years. Teachers don't play fair
»I started obsessing about wanting to go to France when
I was around 12 or 13, and no one -- including me -- could figure out why. No
one we knew had ever traveled abroad much less been to France! In the 8th
grade, we had to pick a foreign language to study, and against pressure from
the adults around me to take Spanish (because it was more "practical" -- like I
cared about THAT), I chose French. Guess who was
»Jobs/careers I had during the 25 years I was trying to
AVOID being a writer: drug-store clerk, shoe salesgirl, cosmetics salesgirl,
secretary, computer programmer, systems analyst, web designer, pharmacy
technician, life & career coach. But I never worked at a fast-food place or
as a waitress.
»I finally came to Paris for the first time when I
was 38, for just a weekend during a two-week business trip to Frankfurt,
Germany. Just as I'd always expected, it was love at first sight between me and
» I came back again two years later, for my 40th birthday,
and got pickpocketed on the metro just off the Champs Elysees. I didn't hold it
against Paris, though; true love never fades, no matter what.
French bureaucrats have been known to make me cry in frustration. Which would
piss me off except that sometimes, it seems to end up working to my advantage;
they see you crying and suddenly become much more helpful just to get the crazy
crying American out of their offices.
» My husband and I had a
first date that lasted 26 hours. Yes, really. That's what love at first sight
will do to two otherwise rational adults who "weren't really looking for
anything serious". It really is true: when you know, you
» I didn't read Jane Austen until I was more than 40.
Now, she's my favorite author. Of her works, my top picks are Pride and
Prejudice and Emma. I also quite like Persuasion and Sense
and Sensibility. The others don't quite "wow" me as much, but still... it's
Jane, and she can do no wrong. In 2013 I finally took a trip to the southwest
of England, where I was able to visit Jane's burial site in Winchester
Cathedral and pay homage to one of the world's greatest female authors. I
should be so fortunate, to have people still wanting to read MY work in 200
» In August 2013, I reached a major milestone in my new
French life: I became a French citizen! I now hold dual U.S.-French
nationality. To learn more about some of what it takes to live in France for
more than 90 days, citizen or not, read this article on my
» The thing that has probably MOST surprised me
about my new French life is how much I love being a step-mother to my husband's
three children. Especially because, before I met my husband, I was pretty firm
in thinking I didn't want to end up with a man who was still raising kids.
Although two of them were teenagers when I met them and they are now young
adults finishing their advanced degrees, and the youngest is now a
middle-schooler who will soon be taller than I am, being a part of their young
lives has unexpectedly become one of the things I am most proud of in my life.
I may write jokingly or fictionally about "horrible step-children", but in
reality "my" kids are awesome, and I adore them.
» And... I
watch Little House on the Prairie reruns and I cry at nearly every
episode. Shhh, don't tell anyone.
< About Lisa